Residents and MPs report hundreds killed in several militia attacks in Oromia region

Archive – Displaced persons from the Oromia region – NRC

Residents of Ethiopia’s Oromia region have reported that hundreds of people have been killed and thousands forced to flee their homes by several militia attacks late last week in Welega territory, now one of the country’s most troubled areas.

According to residents, in statements to the ‘Addis Standard’, the attacks took place in the town of Kiramu (East Walega) on November 25 and 29 and were allegedly carried out by members of the Fano militias originating from the Amhara region in the north of the country.

This Saturday, the Oromo MP Jawar Mohamad assured that at least 350 people were killed and more than 400,000 displaced in a real exodus in the villages of Kiramu, Kombolcha and Gabate (in Horo Guduru) and Kuyu and Wara Jarso (Salale and Shawa North). These estimates could not be verified.

«The government communication office officially announced that all residents of Kiramu were forced to flee to the neighboring district,» Mohamad has made known on his Twitter account. According to a 2007 census, some 150,000 people lived in this town.

For the past three years, telecommunications services have been largely blocked in four regions of Wollega due to ongoing clashes between the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) and government forces.

Between this isolation and the emergence of conflict in the Tigray region, the fighting in Oromia has escaped media attention, residents lament.

To the clashes must be added the action of these Fano militias, known for some time now for fighting against the rebels of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and which have been accused of perpetrating massacres against the civilian population.